More American Kids Dealing with Developmental Disorders

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicole Ostrow Bloomberg News

NEW YORK -- Developmental disabilities among American children increased 17 percent in the past decade led by a rise in autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a U.S. government study found.

The prevalence of the developmental disorders rose to 15 percent of U.S. children, or about 10 million, in 2006-2008, from 12.8 percent, or about 8 million, in 1997-1999, according to the study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The research is published in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers said the increase may be due in part to more preterm births and parents having children at older ages. They also said that improvements in screenings, diagnosis and awareness have pushed the numbers higher.

About 1 in 6 children in the U.S. now have a developmental disability, and that will likely increase demand for health and education services, researchers said.

The study is the first to document the prevalence of developmental disabilities in U.S. children since 1994, Boulet said. …